Italian rivals Inter Milan and AC Milan will reconvene at the San Siro Stadium on Tuesday night for the highly anticipated second-leg showdown of their Champions League semi-final tie.
After picking up a 2-0 first-leg win over Milan, Simone Inzaghi’s side continued their resurgence with a 4-2 victory over Sassuolo thanks to the dynamic duo of Lautaro Martinez and Romelu Lukaku.
Inter have now won their last seven games across all competitions, with their latest result taking them up to third place in the Serie A table, five points above Tuesday’s opponents in fifth.
Having shrugged off a stern challenge from the Neroverdi, Inter will look to build on their Champions League first-leg triumph over Milan to book a place in the final at the Ataturk Stadium in Istanbul.
Perhaps prioritising an unlikely comeback on the continental stage, Milan fell to a disappointing 2-0 defeat to relegation-threatened Spezia on Saturday.
Stefano Pioli’s side have now dropped to fifth place, with four points separating them from fourth-placed Lazio and three games remaining in the season.
The Rossoneri head into the midweek contest knowing their place in Istanbul hangs in the balance, along with their chances of featuring in the Champions League next season.
It remains to be seen what tactical approach Inzaghi will take for the tie decider with his side firmly in control, but they could look to continue their impressive form over their fierce rivals this season.
Inter have already beaten Milan three times this term, all in different competitions (Serie A, Italian Cup and Champions League), and could make it four in a row for the first time since 1973/74.
Barcelona are the only team in Champions League history to win a semi-final first leg by 2+ goals and not progress to the final, and Inter will be keen to ensure they do not follow in the footsteps of the Catalans.
The Nerazzurri are 90 minutes away from a sixth Champions League final, and Inzaghi could become only the fifth Italian manager to lead an Italian team to a chance at European football’s holy grail.
Milan have a mountain to climb with history against them, but they will take notes from Liverpool’s famous triumph over Barca in 2019 as they plot the downfall of their sworn enemies.
However, they have now faced Inter three times and lost without scoring, but they have never gone four in a row without finding the net against the Nerazzurri in their history.
Their European record as the away side also leaves little to be desired, having won just one of their last 16 games on the road in the knockout stages of the Champions League (D8, L7).
To make matters worse, Milan – who need to score at least twice on Tuesday to stand a chance – have only scored 15 goals in 24 away games in the Champions League knockout rounds, at an average of 0.6 per game.
Inter Milan vs AC Milan Potential Line-ups
Inter Milan (3-5-2): Andre Onana; Matteo Darmian, Francesco Acerbi, Alessandro Bastoni; Denzel Dumfries, Nicolo Barella, Hakan Calhanoglu, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Federico Dimarco; Lautaro Martinez, Edin Dzeko.
AC Milan (4-5-1): Mike Maignan; Davide Calabria, Fikayo Tomori, Malick Thiaw, Theo Hernandez; Sandro Tonali, Rade Krunic; Rafael Leao, Brahim Diaz, Alexis Saelemaekers; Olivier Giroud.
We Say: Inter Milan 2-1 AC Milan
Heading into the clash on the back of a seven-match winning streak means Inzaghi’s side are brimming with confidence and should have no problems marching past their Milan counterparts and into the Champions League final.
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